Monday, April 26, 2010

If Only They Used Their Magic Wand

The magician holds a magic wand in his hand. What he is about to do is going to amaze everybody. Everyone has their eyes fixed on the magician, wondering what he will do next. Everyone has their concentration on the dark stage, stops their breathing and moving, not wanting to miss any single action.

It is intensely quiet; you can hear the sound of a needle on the floor. Then the magic begins.......

It is unbelievable, and totally magic!

Everyone claps their hands, salute the magician, cheer him on, happily smiling along, and enjoy the thrill of the magic show.

But however much they see, however careful their attention, there is one thing they still miss, and it is important.

It is magic, totally magic.

They forget to see that they are actually magicians. In fact, they are greater magicians. They can change not only things, but people. They can make people happy; they can change their lives, and make the world a better place.

If only they know that they are magicians.

If only they know they have the power to initiate change.

If only they know they can fix things on their own.

They will have all the magic, and make magic of their lives.

They will not wait for others to do the change.

They will be able to change their personality and attitude, and make themselves likeable and lovable.

They will be able to set their mind, their heart and their will on the things they can do best and make a difference of their lives.

They will change the world like magic, and make the world a magic place.

If only they know they are the magicians.

If only they know they have the magic wand.

If only they know how to use the magic wand.

They can and will change everything for the good of many people.

Yeah, if only they wave their magic wand.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Everything Comes Natural

The dishes were ready on the table covered by the dish covers. Those who had arrived were sitting down chatting with one another. It was early evening at about sunset when I arrived at my brother’s house.

I opened the dish covers; I was curious as to what the menu would be. Oh, nice! They were all my favorite foods, I smiled to myself as I swallowed my first lump of saliva.

My wife looked at me, couldn’t help smiling and laughing. Reminding myself again to eat less as I was desperate to lose weight, I walked to a far end to sit down, trying to get away from the aroma of the foods. Both my wife and my youngest daughter dutifully followed behind.

More family members had come in. There were more talking sessions. It was supposed to be a family gathering and reunion, as our eldest half-sister had come all the way from China to visit us.

It was half past seven. The sky was getting darker. There were less people talking and joking. Then we heard a disappointing piece of news: our half-sister was not able to join us; she had another program.

We looked at one another, feeling rather sad and disappointed. It had been quite a long while since we last met one another. And this time round, she was bringing along her family.

Then the talking, grumbling, and reasoning sessions began…..

Oh! After all the hard works!

Oh! If only she had not promised!

But that is what happens in life, I told myself.

Sometimes things just happened, everyone was unhappy, but no one was to be blamed.

Human plans, but it is God who decides.

We waited for one another to calm down and looked at things rationally.

It wasn’t long, since we were all mature people.

In no time, we were seen happily smiling, laughing, and talking again.

Then everyone was hungry.

It was time to enjoy our feast.

I looked at my wife again.

It was killing moment for me as I had to control myself eating less what I loved to eat.

Oh! I had another audible gulp of saliva.

I looked around, hopefully no one saw.

Then we had a long session talking about old times, more stories and tales, many versions and amendments……

It was late at night when we parted.


Life is a journey.

We meet as we go along,

We stop and have a good time,

We don’t know for how long.

Some we have met more,

Some we hardly meet at all.

But that is life.

Everything comes natural.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rugged Faces

It was an age-old school. It had been standing there since the early 1960s. Many of the buildings looked old and dilapidated, worn and faded, though there were others that were still quite attractive and presentable. Years and years of standing under the hot sun, the heavy rain, the cold wind and the thunderstorm must have weathered and matured it. It wasn’t easy and smooth going for those many long years. But there it was, quietly and patiently producing many generations of stars, professionals and leaders. It had stood tall and proud ever since, making the ultimate sacrifice and doing the greatest deed.

It was the same narrow and rugged road leading to the school. It could hardly take two cars moving in opposite direction. It had many cracks and potholes, and the pedestrian lane was in hopeless condition with its many ups and downs. But there it was, faithfully and dutifully doing its role to bring the students, the teachers, and many others to school.

I was driving to school, slowly and carefully. I was coming to school to work. It had been my school for many years. I had studied, played, worked, and tried to have my presence felt here for many years. Here I was, making more friends and enemies, just as it had been everywhere. You just couldn't please everyone at all.

Here, on the same old rugged road, I had met, waved and greeted many of my friends and enemies. We had studied in the same school. We were sending our children to the same school. Some of us were teaching in the same school too, a sudden surge of thought struck me and made me smile. Oh no! I had forgotten. Some of us were actually sending our grandchildren to the same school, I laughed heartily, almost causing an accident.

We had great fun watching, greeting and speaking to one another. We chuckled and giggled, we teased and laughed, and we had many serious talks about our children and grandchildren(?).

Years had aged us. Life had aged us. And the real world had aged us. Many of us looked much older than our age. Many of us had lots of gray and white hair. Our faces looked battered, tired and miserable. Our soft faces, our usual smiles, and our sparkling black eyes had long disappeared.

It had been a long journey of life. Sometimes the journey was very lonely, miserable, restless, and helpless. Sometimes it was joy and peace, joke and fun. But that was what life meant to be. We learned to take up responsibilities. We learned to stand strong. We learned to have our nose held high. And we fought and conquered. Then we built up our family. We grew and kept it well. We had wanted all the while to produce generations of stars, professionals, and leaders. And we wanted everyone in our family to excel in every good thing and to make us proud.

Oh! How a rough life had seasoned us.

I smiled and sighed.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Doing Things Right

There come a time when we reach the bottom of our life.

There come a day when life isn’t all that exciting anymore.

Everything has suddenly fallen apart.

Everyone has quickly left us.


We sit down in a quiet corner, pondering over what has happened.

We wonder how we have fallen so far and so fast.

We ask ourselves why people have avoided us or left us for good.

"What has done?" we scream and cry.

"How can I set things right?" we sigh.


No one can give us the absolute answer.

But everyone has their reasons and reasoning.

Only God knows.


But it doesn’t matter.

What really matter is that we must continue to live and do things right.

God is all seeing and He is present everywhere.

It is Him we please,

And we seek after His grace and mercy, His blessings and love.


Misunderstandings and conflicts happen sometimes.

There will be pains and sufferings, tensions and stresses, grudges and cold war.

People become edgy, easily provoked and angry.

Eventually we part, sometimes crying for our loss.


Doing things right is all that matter.

We must continue to think positive and behave positive.

We must continue to instill the right feelings.

We must continue to attempt to do the right things.


Whatever happens,

Whatever the circumstances,

We must continue to do things right,

It is all that matters,

Nothing more.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Family Memorial Service

It was Good Friday.

It was also the Ching Ming festival.

My family had chosen this day to visit the tomb of our father and mother.


It was early morning when we began our journey.

The weather was misty with poor visibility.

There were not many traffic along the way.

We drove faster than usual, but kept the speed limit.

Nevertheless, my wife and I were the last couple to arrive.


We reached the entrance of the cemetery by 7a.m.

There was a whole line of traffic in front of us.

Traffic slowed to a halt as it was more and more difficult to find parking space.

We had to turn a full round before we could find our desired parking place.


We sighed with relief as we began our climb up the hill.

It was a well managed and maintained cemetery.

The grass was well trimmed.

The path was clear, dry, and easy to follow.

But the thick smoke was everywhere.

Occasionally I could hear the sounds of firecrackers.

Many older people looked solemn and sad.

A few youngsters and children were seen walking and running around rather cheerfully and happily.


I still experienced shortness of breath as I continued to walk up to the tomb.

My wife was ahead of me, though she slowed down a little to encourage me to keep up.

I looked at her with an understanding smile.


We cleared and cleaned the compound.

And kept all the rubbish in black plastic bags.

The engraved words on the marble slab looked dull and faded.

There was nothing we could do since we had forgotten to bring along brush and paints. But we reminded ourselves to do so the next time we came.

My youngest brother had bought new patches of grass to cover the tomb's earth slopes.

Many of us began to discuss how we were to plant the grass......


The memorial service began.

We had no difficulty adapting to each other's way of service, though we came from different religious backgrounds.

We had learned to follow, according to our own beliefs, as much as we could.

No one complained or stayed away.

We prayed and sang a few christian hymns together.

Everyone was satisfied and happily smiling away.

Then we talked about how we could improve our memorial service the next time we met.


We had our gathering in a coffee shop before we said farewell.

We had meal together and another round of talking, laughing and sharing.

And we enjoyed the joy of brotherhood and sisterhood.

We enjoyed the harmony, peace and love of a big family.


Not many can understand.

But we do.

And we would like to keep our unity together, forever.